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Is Mou losing Roma or is Roma losing Mou?

Friedkin dismisses Mourinho and entrusts the team to De Rossi: an extraordinary love story ends in the worst way


This time his fist hurt. José Mourinho, accustomed as he is to anticipate the moves, to vanish the cards, to turn the scene. Of course: Roma ninth in the standings, the slap of the lost derby, the farewell to the Italian Cup could have put the fly in the nose to one like him, old pirate of the bench, 26 career titles, extraordinary snake charmer capable of bewitching footballers and fans like no other.

At the last verbal gusts of Mou, the American of Rome, Dan Friedkin, 59 years old, Californian by birth but Texan by adoption, 5600 employees and 12 companies ranging from the car dealership sector, to hotels, film production and football, A silence that gradually began to make noise. So he took aim and hit hard. Closing the accounts, tired as he was, whispers in the entourage, the continuous complaints and the culture of the alibi with which the Special One continued to make war on the referees and to distance themselves from the performance of the team.

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Un post condiviso da AS Roma (@officialasroma)

He tells us, who followed him on the last day in Trigoria, of a sorrowful, shaken, emotionally tried Mourinho. A man who, in the course of a morning, saw the office in which he jealously guarded the clippings of the two and a half years spent at the head of the team dismount before his eyes. 

He had arrived in Rome in May 2021, in a city still sorely tried by the pandemic, the result of the first, true Americanata of the Friedkin management. The Texas tycoon, $6 billion of Forbes' estimated assets, had bought Roma from James Pallotta less than a year ago. After a period of study, Dan had decided to play hard. And to put on the field the best: José Mourinho. Thirty million investment in 3 years. Salary: 8 million net per season. 

@dazn_it Arrivederci, José 👋🥹 #Roma #Mourinho #DAZN #JoseMourinho #SpecialOne #TikTokSoccer #TikTokCalcio #SerieA #SerieATIM ♬ suono originale - dazn_it

The announcement alone generated a crazy electric shock among the fans. It exploded after the first Portuguese tweet: "I thank the Friedkin family for choosing me to lead this great club and for making me part of their vision. The incredible passion of the Roma fans convinced me to accept the job and I can’t wait to start. Daje Roma!". In that "Daje Roma" there was all the added value of the Special One, its ability to communicate, to get straight to the belly of people, to create empathy.

Pure energy for the Giallorossi, who responded to Mourinho’s Romanesque slogan with uncontrolled enthusiasm. An enthusiasm capable of recording over the course of the two and a half years something like 36 sold out consecutive at the Olimpico. An enthusiasm that had gradually infected the players and allowed José to close the first season with the trophy number 26 of his extraordinary career, giving Roma, thanks to the 1-0 against Feyenoord signed by Zaniolo, the Conference League. It was May 25, 2022: the club closed a fast that lasted since 2008. Five thousand days without winning anything. 

@sangueeoro Una squadra, una curva, uno stadio che non molla mai! #asroma #dajeroma #mourinho ♬ som original - 👑 ᏆᑎᎢᗴᖇ ᗯᝪᖇしᗞ ᝪᖴᏆᑕᏆᗩし 👑

Dan the billionaire’s second Americanata had been the signing of Paulo Dybala in the summer of that year. A champion torn from the competition of Inter after Juve had freed him, given the impossible engagement required. Thanks to Mourinho, who has an irresistible fascination with players, the Argentine was convinced to prefer the Giallorossi’s offer to that of the Milanese. A great shot at no cost (salary excluded, of course) that should have led the team to the qualitative leap. A qualitative leap that in Europe would be consolidated with the final of the Europa League lost against Sevilla in the penalty shootout, while in the league the team would not be able to earn access to the Champions League.

@espnfc Paulo Dybala being unveiled to @AS Roma fans is unbelievable 🤯❤️ #dybala #italy #rome #soccer ♬ original sound - ESPN FC

The third Americanata was, last summer, the signing of Lukaku, the Belgian giant who led Inter to win the championship in 2021. Here, too, Mou’s work of conviction was decisive. The problem is that, according to the Special, Dybala and Lukaku were not joined by level players to sit at the table of the top teams. And so Mou began to play on two fronts: on the one hand he multiplied the sinking on the referees indicating them as the main enemies, On the other hand he threw it on the sentimental repeating in continuation that Roma is hopelessly in love and would have been willing to stay for life, despite the company had not given him a squad enough to compete at high levels. In a nutshell: he kept the fans on his side and cornered the American

The game lasted six months: to the modest results was added the impatience of the company. At this point Dan, the Texan, set up the belt, pulled out the colt, killed José and entrusted the team to Daniele De Rossi, former captain, the last Giallorossi idol, the only one who, voice of the people, can collect such a heavy legacy. Although, objectively, it will be very hard for him.

@asroma Roma head coach, Daniele De Rossi 🐺 #asroma #football #seriea #tiktokcalcio ♬ original sound - AS Roma

De Rossi has little experience on the bench: he coached only last year in Serie B. The score with Spal does not reassure: 17 games, 3 wins, average points 0.88 per game. "The emotion is indescribable, everyone knows what Roma is for me. We have neither time nor choice: being competitive, fighting for our goals and trying to reach them are the only priorities" his first sentences. 

The Special, however, recovered from the slap, greeted with a tweet. In which stands the photo of him smiling as he raises the Conference League. A photo and two words: "Goodbye Rome". Are we sure he hasn’t won yet?



Illustration by Gloria Dozio - Acrimònia Studios